On Tuesday, January 7th the GreenHomeNYC Green Careers group held its first meeting of 2014. 27 people, ranging from recent graduates to seasoned industry professionals, attended the meet-up to discuss common issues shared by job seekers and to learn ways to address them.
The meeting was lead by Andy Padian, who has 30 years of experience in the sustainable building and energy efficiency industry and plenty of tips and hints to share with the rest of the group. The group kicked off the meeting by focusing on resumes and common problems found with the average job hunter. After reviewing the 10 most common ways to make your resume suck (view the full list HERE), additional items were discussed, including the ability to take constructive criticism and ways to tailor your resume to the specific job to which you are applying.
Next, the group examined how we can improve our personal introductions through tools such as cover letters and elevator pitches. Your cover letter is a brief introduction of yourself. Be sure to talk about your background, explain your qualifications, and what makes you the best candidate for the job in a simple, easy to read statement. Your elevator pitch should be a brief 20 second overview of yourself. Be sure to practice it so that you are prepared for the right moment. The GHNYC Green Careers group is planning meetings to review cover letters and elevator pitches later in the year.
Your elevator pitch can be particularly useful when you’re attending different networking opportunities. Choose events where there are companies and people attending from the industry in which you are interested. If you have trouble introducing yourself to new people, volunteering to help at these events is a great way to meet others.Volunteering also helps cut the costs of attending these events.
Networking, while helpful, may not always turn up the leads you may be looking for. From here, Andy drove the discussion towards trying focusing your search to specific companies. Rather than spamming your resume to large amounts of companies out of the blue, try sending specific targeted, resumes and cover letters. When you find a company or position that is enticing, make sure to present your qualifications that align what they are seeking in a candidate. If you have special ability, a unique experience, or have perfected a certain skill, list it. Consider things that help you stand out from other applicants but also be sure to be realistic about your skills and limitations.
Additional tips included practical advice on preparing for an actual interview. Consider fixing your social media. Keep in mind that while you are researching potential employers, the companies will be doing the same to you. Google yourself and see what comes up. If what turns up is not appropriate for an interview, then be sure to have it removed. Arrive on time! And remember that 15 minutes early is actually on time. When you arrive, be sure you are dressed for the position. Consider the company’s culture and the type of work that you’d be doing.
The meeting wrapped up with a question and answer session, during which Andy responded to inquiries about how to request informational interviews and how to follow up with contacts who don’t respond to your inquiries. The evening concluded with conversations and a beverage at a neighborhood watering hole.
Article by Matt Gerson.
Want to attend the next Green Careers meeting? Join us on February 4th for our first “Sustainable Career Tracks” meeting of 2014. RSVP HERE!
The GHNYC Green Careers group provides informational resources and networking opportunities for individuals looking to break into the sustainability and energy-efficiency field. Our meetings occur on the first Tuesday of each month. Visit www.greenhomenyc.org for updates and email [email protected] with questions.
Interested in volunteering with GHNYC? We have Volunteer Orientation & Meet-ups on the last Tuesday of every month. For more information or to attend the January 28th meeting, email our volunteer coordinator Tad Kroll: [email protected]